Yeon Sang-ho has not only made one of the best contemporary zombie films in an overstuffed sub-genre with his propulsive thriller Train to Busan, but thanks to his current small-screen smash hit Hellbound, he currently has the top Global non-English language series on Netflix, and now he has been speaking to Variety about his future plans for both.
Train to Busan has already received one sequel, with 2020’s formulaic chase movie Peninsula, and will be getting the English-language remake treatment with Timo Tjahjanto’s The Last Train to New York, but when Yeon Sang-ho was asked about the future of his franchise following the international success of his films, he said:
“I believe that the zombie genre is very traditional but at the same time, depending on what you bring to that, it can be completely new. Personally, I do have some ideas in terms of further development of what happens after “Peninsula.” But as for whether I will create that into a film, it’s something that I do want to do. However, because there are a lot of productions that I’m working on currently, I’m thinking that I have to sort of organize the ideas and work on what I have to work on. Up until now I have been someone who’s been an individual creator. But these days I’m thinking that maybe I need to come up with a system in order to really bring all of my creative visions to life.”
Asked whether this meant we could be seeing a small-screen iteration of the Train to Busan universe, Yeon responded that “There are a lot of ideas I’ve been tossing around but I personally think that for Train to Busan, I would like to continue that as a film series. In Korea, the circumstances are not very favorable to create a series in the Korean language with visuals that are comparable to “Train to Busan” the film and also, you know, I have to work with … the distributor that we started on the original film as well. So I think taking into consideration all of those conditions, a film series would be the most feasible.”
On where the third film would sit in his Train timeline he said “I would say that — in terms of that universe — they’ll all become related together. Peninsula was a post-apocalyptic film that focused on the car chases. The story that I’m thinking about after that would be closer to Train to Busan, where the story will be carried out in a small and restricted space. That’s something that I have in mind currently. So in terms of the genre, you could say that it’s between Train to Busan and Peninsula.”
And as for the terrific Hellbound, it appears that despite the director enthusing on the process of working with Netflix, nothing is in place for a live action follow-up, with Yeon adding “I will say that it’s true, the process of working with Netflix was very enjoyable on my end. They very much agreed to and related to my creative vision, but they also created an environment where I didn’t have to think about anything else aside from focusing on my creativity in terms of distribution or when or how to release the series. Because Hellbound is based on the original webtoons, my partner Choi Kyu-Seok and I have decided that the story afterwards will be told first through the webtoon and, as for whether we would want to turn that into another live-action series, that’s something that we will need further discussion on. As you know, we have only just released Hellbound Season 1 and so we didn’t have any time to discuss that issue with Netflix. So I would say this is something we need further discussion on.”
You can read the full discussion over at Variety, but let us know what you think about a potential Train to Busan trilogy by heading to our social channels @FlickeringMyth…